Saturday, March 22, 2008

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

We had a cabbage in our CSA box and Alexis immediately thought of cabbage rolls. Cabbage rolls take a bit of preparation, but they are satisfying in that way that only stick-to-your-ribs Eastern European food can be.

-1 head cabbage
-1 lb ground beef
-6 cloves garlic, 3 minced, 3 whole
-1 onion, 1/2 minced, 1/2 chopped
-1 tb paprika
-salt and pepper to taste
-2 eggs
-2 cups sourkraut
-3 cans diced tomatoes
-2 tb Italian seasoning

In a saucepan, sautee the chopped onion and whole garlic for a few minutes in a bit of olive oil. Then add the tomatoes and the Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and then simmer, covered for about 45 minutes. Then puree. Set aside

With your hands, mix together the ground beef, minced garlic, minced onion, eggs, paprika, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Core the cabbage and place the head in boiling water for about 8 minutes. Remove the head, and when it is cool enough to handle, carefully remove the leave and place them on paper towels to dry out a bit.

More instructions below:

Take a golf ball sized hunk of meat and roll it into an oblong ball. Place on a cabbage leaf near the bottom/rib.

Roll the meat in the cabbage leaf, burrito style.

Repeat until all your cabbage leaves are filled.

In the bottom of a deep, oven-safe pot, place a layer of sourkraut. Then add a layer of cabbage rolls, then cover with tomato sauce. Repeat until all of the cabbage rolls are gone.

Then place the pot in the oven, covered, on 375. Bake for 1.5 hours.

Remove from the oven and serve topped with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt

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Roast Duck and BBQ Pork at Lam Hoa Thuan, San Francisco, CA

BBQ Pork $5
Surprisingly moist and fresh.

Roast Duck $12
The meat was succulent, but the skin could have been more crispy.

Food: 1
Decor: 0
Service: 1

Lam Hoa Thuan
2337 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

No Website
Health Code Violations

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Pizza at The Cheese Board, Berkeley, CA

Asparagus, Basil and Garlic Slice $3
This really is the best pizza in the Bay Area. This slice in particular was an incredible melange of flavors. The garlic was very strong, but not overwhelming.

Food: 1
Decor: 0
Service: 1

The Cheeseboard Collective
1512 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Orange Roughy with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

This is not a pretty picture but it was a tasty meal. This was the first week of the season for our CSA, Two Small Farms, and I was ridiculously excited about all my new veggies. Represented here are white, orange and red carrots, as well as parsnips and green garlic (which looks like scallions but tastes like garlic. Parsnips might just be my favorite underutilized root veggie. They are absolutely delicious when slow roasted.

Orange Roughy with Creamy Green Garlic Sauce
-4 filets orange roughy
-3 stalks green garlic, thinly sliced
-4 baby bell peppers, diced
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-1/4 cup mayo
-1/4 cup grated cheese
-salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the green garlic and bell peppers in a bit of olive oil until soft. Add the other ingredients, except the fish, and stir to combine. Place the filets in a glass baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Spread the sauce over the fish evenly and bake on 350 for about 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots
-3 parsnips, peeled and cubed
-8 carrots, peeled and cut in rounds
-salt and pepper to taste
-olive oil

Toss the veggies in a bit of olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Roast in a covered pan for about an hour on 350.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Eve Menu at Canteen, San Francisco, CA

Canteen was holding one of its special, seasonal prix fixe menus and we were happy to get a reservation. The prix fixe was $60 per person and was 5 courses. The theme of this menu was "Spring Eve" and overall, it was delicious. We had previously only eaten brunch at Canteen and were happy to find that dinner is just as good, if not better.

Buttery, Biscuity Dinner Roll
This was served warm and was light, flaky and wonderfully homey.

"Lobster and Leeks"
This dish was comprised of a lobster panna cotta, lobster salad and leek puree. This dish was served room temperature, which surprised us, but was very, very good. The lobster salad component, in particular, was perfect.

Polenta Soup with Poussin and Yellowfoot Mushrooms
This was probably our least favorite dish of the night, but it was still not bad. The soup itself was rather thin and milky and sort of reminded Alexis of a soup that you would eat when sick and trying to recover. The chicken was very tender, but it was sort of strange because you had to cut it with a knife and fork. We used 3 utensils to eat the soup.

Halibut with Ham Hocks and Spring Veggies
The halibut was perfectly cooked and the layer of ham hocks was a very interesting preparation. The asparagus were super tender. This dish was very evocative of spring for us.

Lamb Tenderloin with Lamb Meatballs, Pea Puree, Pea Sprouts and Carrots
All of the components of this dish were tasty, but they didn't really make a coherent dish. The tenderloin was very tender. The meatballs were slightly sweet, kind of like Asian meatballs. The pea puree was interesting and flavorful.

Strawberry Shortcake
This was the best dessert that we have had in a long time. In fact, this was the second dessert that Giao has finished in the entire time we have known each other. The shortcake was light and airy, the strawberries were ripe and plentiful and the silky whipped cream held everything together.

Food: 2
Decor: 2
Service: 1

817 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94109

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Lunch Catered from Speciality's, San Francisco, CA

Caesar Salad and Blue Cheese and Roast Beef Sandwich
Alexis ate the meat and cheese out of the sandwich and ate the salad. The meal left something to be desired.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Crustless Mini-Quiche

Sundried Tomato, Basil and Artichoke Mini-Quiche
These are a great portable snack or meal. And they are a great use for muffin tins.

-10 eggs
-1 cups half and half
-2 large handfuls grated cheese
-1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
-1 cup marinated artichokes, drained and diced
-handful of fresh basil, chopped
-salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Ladel into a greased muffin tin, about 2/3 to the top of each cup. Bake on 350 for about 30 minutes, or until the tops are puffed and golden.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dinner at Yoshi's, San Francisco, CA

We had heard that the food at Yoshi's was very good, so we decided to give it a shot. The restaurant itself is very large in scale, but with modern, yet warm, decor. Overall, we found the service to be standard and the food to be ok. We would not go back because this place is far too expensive for the quality and quantity of the food. We are happy to pay a lot for a truly great meal, but not for a mediocre one.

Kusshi Oysters $15
These were served with lime, yuzu and dashi gelees and were actually quite nice.

Ocean Salad $8
This salad sounded great, since Alexis loves seaweed salad, but the flavors fell flat. It needed more salt and more acid. It was very pretty, however.

Sashimi Platter $35
Pricey, but very fresh.

Roasted Duck Breast with Miso $17
This was tender, but somewhat uni-dimensional.

Miso Black Cod with Shitake Broth $16
A good version of a popular dish. The mushrooms were very nice.

Lobster, Uni and Foie Gras Custard $18
This was the standout of the night. The custard was light and perfectly seasoned and the toppings were utterly decadent.

Food: 1
Decor: 2
Service: 1

1330 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

Health Code Violations

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Brunch at The Magic Flute, San Francisco, CA

After our light breakfast, we met some friends for a late brunch.

Pork Chop, Fried Egg and Fries $16
The pork chop was fat and juicy, the eggs were ok and the fries were very bad.

Cobb Salad $14
A very satisfying rendition made with thick cut bacon, juicy chicken and fresh veggies.

Food: 1
Decor: 2
Service: 1

The Magic Flute Ristorante
3673 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94118

Health Code Violations

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A Light Breakfast Chupaqueso

This may not seem like a light breakfast to some, but for us it seemed that way because it included something other than bacon and eggs. This was a chupaqueso shell topped with a scrambled egg, chopped hard salami, chopped tomatoes and chopped basil.

Click here for a video demo on how to make a chupaqueso.

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